Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tip of the Day: Watch for Signs Warning You of Pickpockets

For Today's Tip of the Day, be cautious if you observe signs in public places warning you to be watchful of pickpockets!

Very often, such signs have NOT been placed by police or authorities, but rather by pickpockets themselves who are hoping that you will check the location of your wallet, to make their job even easier!

All countries have "pickpockets" that relieve unsuspecting tourists of their wallets, passports and valuables.

We do have a few tips for our readers concerned with the threat of pickpockets:

1. Don't carry a "smart-phone" in clear view, on your belt or in your hand;

2. Consider using an under-the-garment concealment device for your passport, or even better, carry ONLY a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and a photocopy of your date of entry into the country and leave your passport and other valuables in a two-keyed safe deposit box in your hotel;

3. NEVER use in-room safes, as they almost always have a "back door";

4. Never carry more than $100 in cash on your person;

5. Be wary of groups of children who might gather around you, as many may be working for a criminal;

6. Make it a point to NOT donate money to panhandlers and the poor as doing so may very well put at risk of armed robbery, assault, rape and even homicide; and

7. A common tactic in many countries is to spill something on a tourist, and then, while they are helping you clean the spill, another person is lifting you wallet or stealing your purse.